Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die

Hey kids, grownups, mongaloids, geniuses and assorted perverts. It’s Monday. This weekend was crazy…I don’t even know if I can really go for it today. I need to go buy a mullet wig and I need to go to the gym and ride my bike and celebrate being alive a little. That’s what I think we should all kind of do. There’s a lot of dying going on these days and, well, frankly it’s a bummer. I mean, there’s no way to really wrap your head around dying, and as a result it’s fucking scary as shit. It’s the same reason that you get terrified when you try to imagine an infinite universe. “What’s after the planets? What’s after the black space?” Uh, sorry kid. There’s no answer to that. Just kind of keeps going. Yipes.
I always used to imagine that the universe ended with scribble lines that gave way to a white background, where whoever made the whole thing eventually just got tired of coloring everything black and just gave up. Ultimately this was unsatisfying, because the next question, “well, what comes after the white space” was even more unnerving, because yeah, what the fuck comes after that?
I read some Stephen king book when I was a kid and its whole theory was that the entire universe was contained in a molecule in a single blade of grass in some larger universe, a la the Russian Nesting Doll model. This is, for some very inexplicable reason, comforting to me, although I don’t know why. For the record, that’s not really what I think is actually going on, but I don’t mind the idea. Something about it is less terrifyingly infinite than the other way, where shit just kind of spreads and spreads forever. I remember in uh…was it calculus? I dunno, it’s been years since I took math classes, they discussed various kinds of infinities and it was pretty nutty. There’s the one that just goes on, linearly, but then there’s also the one that comes from halving a unit over and over again. So within infinity there’s like, infinite infinities, man. Woah. Uh…dave’s not here, man. I mean, I’m not trying to figure it all out tonight, I just want to hang out with your daughter, ya know?
Okay, so yeah. Point being, there’s a comfort in knowledge and a deep, deep fundamental terror that comes from not knowing. This is, one could logically conclude, why people in small towns tend to be so much more distrustful of foreign countries and foreign people than people who deal with heterogeneous culture on a day to day basis. This isn’t just an American thing either. It’s pretty across the board. Shit’s strange? Oh, that’s just another word for terrifying. Don’t get me started on hummus, homos, Hondurans, Hindus etc. That shit is all potentially pants-crapingly frightening, but death, death is pretty fucking unknowable to everyone, at least everyone who’s alive, and therefore, it’s pretty fucking scary on a whole other level.
But, here’s the deal. You die. And when you do, unless you’re Nikki Sixx, you don’t get to come back and fix all the shit you fucked up, or do all the stuff that you didn’t get around to. When I was a kid, I always thought I’d be everything. I was positive I’d be a rock star, astronaut, cop, Marine, pro athlete, author, actor, comedian, etc. At some point, I realized, nope. You’re not gonna be all that stuff. You, in fact, won’t ever be any of those things unless you pick one and really go for it. Even then, I’m learning now, there’s a good chance that “astronaut” turns out to be “busboy” and ‘pro athlete’ turns out to be ‘CPA’…Life’s brutal. Life’s brutal and the fucking reward is death. Wow. Where do I sign up? Sigh.
Point being, this morning, Michael Jackson (just for example) didn’t wake up. Not only did he not get to go buy a bunch of gigantic golden faberge eggs at barneys, but he didn’t get to drink a cup of coffee and call his mom and tell her he loves her or walk around and enjoy the weather or any of that shit. He’s dead. You, me, we’re alive. That’s pretty huge and man, I don’t want to sound like some sort of cheesy hallmark card or something, but in the end, that’s kind of all you’ve got. One life, one time to do the shit that you want to do in the brief spaces between all the bullshit and people pissing on you and stuffing you into uncomfortable positions and telling you to go fuck yourself. Then it’s done. And yeah, I see where it’d be tempting to pretend that afterwards you get to go to heaven and be an astronaut and hang out with Miles Davis and eat all the cupcakes you want and still have great abs, but come on…it’s never really about that shit anyway. I mean, I just know it’s the small things that really get me by. A little boning, a funny joke, a beer, some dog deciding it likes me, a good song, a delicious burrito…yeah. Um…I dunno. I don’t feel like I’m gonna stick the landing today, prose wise, so uh…get out there and live? Sounds pretty lame. But look, that’s your choice. The alternative sucks balls, man.

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24 Responses to Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die

  1. Corova says:

    To celebrate going out and living, I'm going to work inside in a laboratory all day. Yeah life!

  2. Ross says:

    I think people are struggling with thoughts of death lately because that is a topic most people dwell on and focus on when the weather's shitty and the trees are dead (february in montana). However, it's summertime. It's time to be naked, warm and tanned. Life is so easy in the summer for people in temperate climates (we have evolved to essentially thrive in the summer, and hopefully survive the winter). Anyway, when Billy Mays and Ed McMahon die suddenly when everyone should be thinking of boating, hiking, relaxing with 12 margaritas at 4pm, it fucks with you. Wow, that was really their last June 26th? I hope they had a fucking good day, you know?

  3. Some Young Guy says:

    shit brendan. i've been sitting at my computer all day/week/month/year. FUCK!

  4. Scott says:

    makes me want to leave this cubicle and go do something i want to for once.

  5. Scott Juniper. says:

    that was kind of a bummer.

  6. Toto says:

    that just made me terribly depressed and sad… i mean, knowing that today i have to go to my stupid work at the bar,make some money that won't even get me richer or happier,wasting time in front of a computer at home on a day basis,and basically feeling like crap everyday of my life since i was 15.
    and i'm alive.knowing that i can change all that in a second, but i don't.

    internet and revelations…
    crazy shit uh?

  7. ihuntrobots says:

    The Stephen King book you're referring to is either The Gunslinger or The Wastelands, both of The Dark Tower series.

    Yeah, despite what anyone might say about an afterlife, THIS life is one that you know for certain that you have. So don't fuck it up too much, and don't be passive and convince yourself that things will be better "in the next life."

  8. Banana@1000MPH says:

    When I was little, I kept myself awake getting myself scared about death because my head couldn't (still can't really, when I think about it) grasp the idea that after I die I just stop existing. It isn't like I go to sleep or am awake but can't move…I just stop existing. It was more scary that I just wouldn't exist to actually care that I no longer existed than the idea of me having to lay 6 feet underground, awake, for the rest of eternity.
    Also, how do you bring up Michael Jackson? It is Billy Mays' time now. MJ has got to move over. He's yesterday's news.

  9. kylewagoner says:

    I had the most dramatic weekend. I moved out of my dad's house, cried about it with him, had sex in the first time in over 21 months, and dreamt about meeting you. Then in my dream, I woke up and met you! And then I woke up for real and there I am–not knowing you personally. And I missed Insubordination Fest! But! I did get to talk to Sean from Toys That Kill last night, which also makes the weekend dramatic. Damn! I was gonna ask for advice on whether or not I should stick out living with my dad and failing to satisfy him or not, but it's too late. He might be keeping my drums, bass, guitar, and piano hostage, though.


  10. Drunken Acorn says:

    now i'm sad.

  11. P.S Don't Write says:

    Brendan, sometimes I love you.

    I spent the weekend living with my best friend, all we did was laugh and drink and cook and clean and play. It was awesome and fun and I felt so happy.

    Life is awesome if you think about it the right way.

  12. Andrew says:

    this was probably your best entry, in my opinion. in that you took something that i blogged about months ago and just completely kicked my ass in your description of everything. I never even mentioned that calculus shit and i'm a math geek. damn.

  13. amandatague says:

    this weekend, as famous people were dropping like flies, i was celebrating the 22nd anniversary of my exodus from my mother's vagina by hosting a pretty excellent show and potluck.

    i made a pitcher of jesus juice because we all kept talking about michael jackson and i just so happened to have a two liter of pepsi and a bottle of white wine. when i walked into my living room with the pitcher to announce that there was jesus juice for all interested parties i started with "it is my birthday and michael jackson is dead" i was then cut off by everyone cheering before i could say, "so i made this here pitcher of jesus juice in honor of those two occasions"

    jesus juice tastes and smells like a melted coke slurpee, no wonder he used it to ply small boys.

  14. ethan says:

    I work in the town that Stephen King lives in… he comes in a lot and I've made him a strawberry smoothie a couple times. No big deal or anything. haha

  15. Joel says:

    This made my day that much better. just doing the simple things. Today i slept in til midday on my day off and tonight i'm going to catch a movie and afew beers.

  16. johnny B says:

    i got into a pretty bad car accident 2 years ago and since then i've kinda had a different aspect on life. i'm 21 at this point, and i've been looking at life with the idea that if a decision i'm about to make wont effect me in 10 years then it's probably worth doing. being young, in most cases, you don't have that much responsibility. no kids don't have to deal with putting food on the table and providing for a family. eventually that shit is gonna happen and i don't wanna look back at my younger years and go "man did i really live life to the fullest." i'm not saying i'm gonna go out and do heroin, fuck prostitutes and get the hiv, but when your young you can fuck up a lot and get away with it because your young. one day shit's gonna hit the fan and that freedom is going to be gone. so make the most of it while you still can.

    with that being said could you tell us some more stories of some of the craziest shit you've done when you were younger?

  17. james says:

    good statement nbrendan. sorry im, drunk ibut i want all to know in the workd or who read this. brendan is one of the ppl on the workld that is living his life so man i listening to theres stuff all the time and its good when your down up or just fucking around its so relevant and i listen to othershit like that but h20 are sick. i was listeer ning to GO when i startted drinking ended on alkainline trip which are great i love go gog gog album all there songs sdo sweet. brendan your awesome and falcon are rad i love that song with the lik :the last time i saw you verse chris i love sundowen if you cant tell him and niel if drummers made solos i buyt it probaly . maybe not byt you rock i guess. hard to tell cause your not saying much over her antway dude i saw your band lawrence arms play at perth with anti flag ages abeavck and you it was aight roun d i just starting listening to larewns arms i loved it, antiflag were good i knda herd them first but dont like em much antmore it wa i was stoked on thast attigfude but what can you dio anyway everyone wants more money so i take it as a privlege. shine the lgiht down on me at the cost of losing i win at t he sost of wining o lose., yeah well this is the heads up that ppl should stop been bitches ay fuck chicks and dudes just be yourself whenever yu can you dont need otherppl i got aspergaers when i was young and never could communitcate with ppl tha well but im fine now and i dont se what the problem is with meeting new ppl itsd so great so seriously if you feel down. heres my cure. sorry if i m stilling your thinder but go rent ROMe hbo see how tuff cunts are anf then go buy new rancid album listenig to matt singing oi chuicglla chugla chula on LA RIVER its good i think. anyway my new roomate just moving in we gonna drink some opld wine and smoke some winny bluies to the sound of??? millencolin atm but you guys wont know our seen we listen to what you guys do oversees its the same everywhere stip the shit bout places youve been and tell me boout the future that s whats good the past is the past just leave it alone and look forward. i love waking uyo to the new day and wtf is gong to happen i dont know but i dont mind i got my mates my family sick music sick beaches and huge graps

  18. Matt says:

    Man, the whole discussion about life is crazy. Basically, Brenden is fucking spot on with the idea that hey, you have a short amount of time to do what you want, so why not fucking gun for it? It kind of makes me think about a type of person I've been running into lately:

    The young-adult. You know the kind. You are walking down to the store and bump into someone you went to high school with (I'm 24 by the way) and you catch up a little. In my case, I tell them I have a decent job, play in a band, and just try and enjoy my life as much as I can. They come to tell me they got married in/right after college, had a kid, and bought a house. Now, while i'm not hating on people who have kids and buy homes young in life, I just never understood why? You are 23 years old, have your whole life ahead of you to be a shitty parent and do nothing but raise a kid, and you opt to burn that time away and get a head start on getting knocked up? Maybe it is just me, but maybe you should have left town for a little while, seen the world, enjoyed the world a little before you let you hubby goo you up.

    Maybe it's just me though.

  19. CrgFlxbl says:

    Life's strange, people are weird.

    You have to have fun without having too much fun.

  20. Gregory says:

    ^^^^ EXACTLY!!!!

    I'm from st. louis, missouri and went to mizzou for university. as soon as i was done, i moved to hawaii to work at a summer camp, then i went to work as an english teacher in mexico and now i'm living in london england as a history teacher. Next year i'm going to canada to work on my masters degree. i'll probably come home or something after that, but i see so much wasted ambition to getting married at 22 and just having kids immediately. i want to live my life before i have to dedicate 100% to raising children who cost shitloads of money.

  21. Capt Murdock says:

    "Wasted ambition in getting married at 22 and just having kids immediately?!?!?!"

    How does this waste ambition? The only way that applies is if you marry a person that doesn't fully understand who you are as a person.

    And if thats the case then its your own fault regardless of age.

    I mean I'll use Mr BK as an example.

    Married. Check.
    Kid. Check.
    Wasted ambition…… wait maybe he wasn't the best example.

  22. PIXI says:

    BK is not 22 though, he's almost 32. He did some living before he got married and had a kid.

  23. Robb says:

    They say that 60% of the time tying the knot and popping out gremlins at 22 is a waste of life and ambition all the time. I also think Murdock was being facetious 60% of the time every time in that post.

  24. Taylor says:

    this is going to sound creepy. but i was wondering if you had ever tripped acid, cuz i just did for the first time and ive been pondering on the exact same shit. Its like i could of never found this blog post because i had never gone to this concert tonight, and then i would of never looked up this band on myspace (http://www.myspace.com/prettylights) , and i would of never tried to discern what the lyrics are saying in this one song where they said "f*** em i didnt want to go to heaven anyway" because it brings back some nostalgia from some gangster rap song i heard when i was younger, and i never would of googled those words to see what song they were from. i would of never came here if i hadnt clicked the spellcheck option on google to make this blog page the first to come up. Back on that whole infinite universe, by the way i misspelled (spelling not sure of) "whole" the first time i typed it. i typed it as hole. if i was anyone of you i would think oh what a dumbass. but it wouldnt matter to me, from my perspective, because i wouldnt know that you were thinking im (me) a dumbass, and you would only give it 2 cents of your time. So dont judge, that dirty hippie smelling like garbage might just be another typo that you are taking the wrong impression of, but if let stood (grammar?), he will always be that in your mind, he will always be that typo.

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